October 12, 2006, was designated National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day by the U.S. Senate in November. West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd and twenty-four additional Senators from both parties sponsored Senate Resolution 600, which was passed unanimously. Its main objectives were energy independence and the development of AFVs and advanced technology vehicles.
National AFV Day was supported by a collaboration of federal agencies, automotive industry leaders, local governmental officials, and consumers desiring an unpolluted environment. The resolution was initially proposed to be in conjunction with the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium’s (NAFTC’s) National AFV Day Odyssey, which was held October 12, 2006. Odyssey is a biennial nationwide event dedicated to promoting AFVs and advanced technology vehicles. Senate Resolution 600 stated that, “Federal support for the adoption of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles can accelerate greater energy independence for the United States, improve the environmental security of the Nation, and address global climate change.”
By encouraging the enactment of federal policy supporting AFVs and advanced technology vehicles, it is hoped that Americans will increase their public and commercial use of cleaner, more energy-efficient alternative fuels. The resolution specifically mentioned these new sources of energy: biofuels, battery-electric and hybrid-electric power, natural gas and propane, hydrogen, and fuel cells.
Senator Byrd’s support of the NAFTC and National AFV Day Odyssey was evident at the Odyssey 2006 National Media Kickoff Event in Arlington, Virginia. At this event, a letter composed by Senator Byrd was read by Franz Wuerfmansdobler, Legislative Assistant to Senator Byrd. In the letter, Senator Byrd commended the NAFTC on its efforts to urge consumers, automotive manufacturers, fuel suppliers, environmental organizations, policymakers, academic institutions, and others to stand together in an effort to promote alternative and advanced technology vehicles.